The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) announced in November 2014 that separating couples would get their first mediation session funded for both parties, as long as one of them is eligible for legal aid. On the back of this move there is an argument that more needs to be done to encourage separating couples to pursue mediation.
Mediation is a non-adversarial process divorcing couples enter into voluntarily that is overseen by a trained mediator. It is not suitable in all divorce cases but has advantages over court proceedings such as being quicker and cheaper. Couples should note that it is not necessarily a substitute for legal advice itself but it is a way to communicate and manage the process of separation to a conclusion without the need for court proceedings. Most people that use mediation also receive independent legal advice from a family lawyer.